I thought I’d heard all the Greek myths about monsters but somehow one of them slipped by…. And it is really monstrous — fodder for a gruesome horror story. It’s the story of Metra.
I was thumbing through my Dictionary of Classical Mythology (a paperback book with yellowed pages that I’ve had at least since high school) while looking for a reference that I could use for a client’s product name. Naming an esoteric product is a fun project, but it requires imagination games and old familiar reference books can be inspirational. While looking for something about transformation and positive changes, I discovered the story of Metra.
Metra was the daughter of Erisichthon. Poseidon loved Metra and gave her a special gift — the ability to transform herself into different animals. I can pretty much guess where you’re going — he gave his beloved the ability to transform into a variety of animals?
What a gift. What a strange and monstrous gift.
But the horror story does not start with and animal transformation gone wrong in Metra’s love life. The villain in the story is Metra’s father. Erisichthon pissed off the goddess Demeter by cutting down a tree in her sacred grove. The goddess cursed him with ravenous hunger that is never satisfied. To feed his unending need he repeatedly sold his daughter — as a slave or in the guise of different marketable animals — so he’d have the funds to keep eating.
Like the swindler reselling the same plot of land (same bond, same stock shares) he continually sold his daughter, never losing his ‘property’ as she returned to being his daughter over and over again.
Now THAT is a horror story.
I need to do some more Metra research and check with other sources That one old paperback with a short description is not enough to satisfy my ravenous hunger for monsters. Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. The more I explore; the more I find! So many monsters, so little time…